What’s your summer playlist look like? You know, the go-to playlist when you’re in the car and the windows are down. The new thing that’s come out and you’re wearing it out like you did when you were 16. The I’m-at-the- beach-and-the-speaker-is-up-so-loud-I-don’t-care-who-hears-it playlist. Ok, wait, hold up. Let’s talk for a second about what makes a good summer playlist. And while we’re rolling, let’s first talk about what a summer vibe even is and how that leads to a playlist.
I can ask, “What is summer,” and the cool thing is that I will get back 10,000 different answers. (Who am I kidding?! There aren’t 10,000 of you reading this blog. So, in reality, I hope to hear from both of you. 10,000 just sounded good as I was typing.) Summer is unique and deeply personal for each of us. Your memories with your family growing up. The trips you took. The time you take off now. The festivals you can’t miss. That watering hole that seems to never change from year to year. I could go on and on.
But the thing that binds us together – the thing that is common ground we all walk on – is that summer has a vibe and a flow. A feeling of independence as your hair gets windblown at the beach. A feeling of relaxation as you see how many days you can string together without wearing shoes. A cold movie theater on a 100-degree day. Standing and singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” with your kids. Spending time with those one or few humans with whom life just doesn’t work without them in it. Taking mental pictures with your eyes of all of it so you can hang onto that moment for many summers to come.
And yes, for me, this vibe has a soundtrack. The feel-good songs (mostly new ones, but some from the past 12 months) that feel the way I do. The songs that represent Summer 2018. Often for me, they stand out as light, fun and, mostly, nothing too deep. I’ll usually save that playlist for the fall or winter. My summer playlist makes me happy, just like the time and the feelings above. A constant reminder to embrace the time because it passes all too quickly. To enjoy every day, appreciate the gift of the time, and to lay down a bunch of cool tunes to make the days go better.
My current edition is loaded down with the new Arctic Monkeys release. Not sure I’ve heard more David Bowie in a record since David Bowie. (We did establish early on, that Bowie is the man, right?! I mean, I did name one of my dogs after him. And my other dog is named after his alter ego, Ziggy). I have the new Kasey Mugraves on there. Please don’t send me an email saying it isn’t country. I get it. I agree. It’s a great pop record. But, plenty of country artists grew up listening to pop and hip-hop, so it stands to reason that these influences were on the way. My two year old loves the new AJR so that’s on there for sure. I know what it means when she asks me for a “dance party,” and I hit play. Greta Van Fleet when I need to be reminded of the second coming of Led Zep … all performed by teenagers who were barely even alive in the ’90s, much less those days. Starcrawler because I’m honestly a simple punk rock kid that hasn’t grown up a lot. THAT new band is killer! The new Drake record because it’s huge and also really, really good. We’re living in the golden age of hip-hop. If you don’t believe me, stop reading this blog and open up your Spotify and look at all those streams. Dominates the Top 50 every day. This new Drake release came out of nowhere … and has blown the hell up. It belongs to the summer and is fantastic.
This is about the time in my typing when I wonder how many of you have bailed and how many are getting ready to if I don’t make better points quickly. So, let me say that my playlist also has new stuff by Rex Orange County, Bob Moses, The Kooks, Foster the People, Post Malone, Wombats, The Knocks, MGMT and Beach House. And I’ll stop with that because I’m equally passionate about all of them but don’t want you drifting off and later telling me that sleeping is your jam during the summer and I put you right there.
So, there you go. That’s mine. What’s yours? I look forward to the cards and letters rolling in. Please, no judging or wagering. Last month got a little deep and I hope you stayed with me through this light and fluffy bublegumapalooza blog for Summer 2018.
As always, I wish you much happiness in your life. Summer is the perfect time to go grab some and wring it all out for what it’s worth. I hope you are doing that and I look forward to hearing what’s been on your life rotation for the last couple months.